Wonky shelves

my version

I got the idea for these clay shelves from the Loma Panda pottery in Nicaragua, a place that I visited last winter. The Loma Panda version included nine handmade mugs, three per shelf, but several of their “seconds” (the ones that warped when fired) were hung on the wall of the studio and filled with odds and ends. I loved these little works of art so much that when I got back I made my own version.

Loma Panda version

I had taken photos of the Loma Panda shelves but didn’t consult them when I made my own so I didn’t realize until later that the Loma Panda potters do not put any vertical divisions in their shelves. The shelves are easier to burnish without the divisions (all the Loma Panda pottery is burnished and low-fired, they don’t use glazes) but they probably warp more.

I made my first shelves out of paper clay and glazed them with a matt brown glaze, but I’ve since made them out of porcelain without any problems, although I let them dry very slowly. On the back I attach four little lugs with holes through them for wire so that the selves can be hung any way up.

Hanging up my finished shelves put a big smile on my face as I remembered the women at Loma Panda and their weird and wonderful clay creations. (You can read a longer account of this remarkable pottery on my other blog.)

It’s a good day when wonky clay shelves can lighten our hearts, isn’t it?

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